Give them some credit

A LEADING local councillor has placed a motion before the East Riding of Yorkshire Council calling on the authority to support the promotion of Credit Unions which help the financially vulnerable.

Credit unions are member-owned financial cooperatives, democratically controlled by their members, and operated for the purpose of promoting thrift, providing credit at competitive rates, and providing other financial services to their members.

Tory Councillor Jonathan Owen, Deputy Leader of ERYC, called for the move following the Government’s reforms relaxing restrictions and allowing credit unions wider freedoms to operate.

He said: “Legislative reforms by the coalition government allow credit unions to reach out to new groups by serving more than one group of people, providing services to community groups, businesses and co-operatives and especially offering interest on savings instead of a dividend.

“Credit Unions operate solely for their members and are a way for those who are often unable to access routine credit to gain financial assistance as well as being a means of saving.”

His colleague, Coun Jane Evison, who supported the motion said: “I have long fought for the rights of those for whom the only access to financial help has been through money lenders and often loan sharks who prey on those who are financially vulnerable.

“These relaxations to the rules around how credit unions operate are to be welcomed and as a local authority we need to raise awareness to make everyone aware of their existence.”